Crop Production – Lincoln County farmers and ranchers have the land, the weather, the infrastructure, the capitalization, and the experience to maintain a competitive position in the agriculture industry. USDA/NASS reported that wheat production in bushels for 2016 (most recent) was 26,215,000, making Lincoln County the number two top producing wheat county in the state and number three in the nation. Other crops commodities include barley, canola, seed crops, wine grapes, certified sustainably-farmed wheat, and organic vegetables and berries.
Livestock Production – Livestock production is also important to Lincoln County and the county provides some key services to the region’s livestock producers. Stockland Livestock Exchange, located in Davenport, handles the sale of thousands of animals from throughout the Inland Empire every year. A livestock processing facility located near Odessa provides producers with local USDA carcass inspection for the retail market, enabling them to increase their profit margins by marketing their product directly to stores, distributors, restaurants and institutions.
Tourism – Tourism is a significant industry for Lincoln County. The most popular tourist destination is the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, part of the National Park System. The National Park Service logged 1,276,723 visitors to the recreation area in 2017. The recreation area is only accessible by car and thousands of road travelers access the recreation area from State Highway 2 at Reardan, Davenport, Creston and Wilbur, spending discretionary income at the county’s restaurants, stores, and gas stations. Lake Roosevelt is the largest lake in Washington and several developments overlooking the lake provide opportunities to purchase vacation homes offering majestic views.
Other Industries contributing a substantial number of jobs are seed production and sales, organic and municipal waste management and composting, basalt mining and crushing, commercial construction, and transportation and warehousing.
Lincoln County has two operating industrial parks and two more in the development stage:
The Barr Regional Bio Industrial Park is a 40-acre state of the art industrial facility located on the I-90 corridor just west of the Spokane County line. It has been constructed for heavy industrial commercial use and includes an access easement from the freeway exit directly to the site. The anchor tenant is the Barr-Tech Organic Processing Facility. Barr-Tech promotes responsible, local organic recycling by processing green waste, food material, and municipal biosolids using an aerated static pile composting system. The technology is all natural, chemical free, and reduces the production of harmful greenhouse gasses. The resulting compost is sold on the retail market. The park, 22 miles from Spokane’s metropolitan area, draws materials from eastern Washington and northern Idaho.
The 40-acre Odessa Industrial Park is owned and managed by the Odessa Public Development Authority. Located 16 miles north of Interstate 90 (Exit 206) and 1 mile south of the town of Odessa, the park fronts State Highway 21 and focuses on agriculture-related industries. Current leaseholders include two grass seed producers, a USDA certified livestock processing facility, and a garbanzo bean merchandiser. There are 20 acres available for expansion within the park and an additional 160 acres available across from the park, on the opposite side of Highway 21.
A privately owned 200+ acre parcel divided by Interstate 90 and immediately east of the Sprague freeway interchange and State Highway 23 was annexed into the city limits in 2014 and is within a Business Park District Zone. Highway 23 access has been granted by the WSDOT. The property’s proximity to Interstate 90 makes it ideal for warehousing or distribution activities.
The Davenport Municipal Airport will begin a $5.2 million expansion and rehabilitation project in 2020 that will allow for a proposed light industrial park directly north of the airport.